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10/05/2013

Chinese design on display in NY

Organizers of the first China & US Architecture and Space Arts Cultural Exchange Week (from left): Zhong Zhenying, Jiang Lu, Zeng Qingbo, Hu Zhongwei and Xie Bin in New York on Monday.

 

Five Chinese amateur curators successfully organized and pulled off China & US Architecture and Space Arts Cultural Exchange Week in New York City on Sept 23-29.


The event, whose goal was to introduce contemporary Chinese architecture and design to the West, featured a three-day exhibit on Wall Street displaying more than 50 architectural designs, models and artwork from designers worldwide.


Jiang Lu, director of SouFun, a real estate network platform with more than 8,000 employees and operations in 106 cities and regions in China, proposed the idea of an overseas architecture exhibition in March of 2013 and said their goals had been achieved.


"We had many famous Eastern and Western architects and designers from other fields join the exhibition," said Jiang. "Also, master interior designer Tony Chi acted as honorary chairman."


Jiang said that in the early stages of planning, many of the famous architects didn't show much interest in cooperating.


"They didn't want to show their artwork at the exhibition because I was not a professional curator, I had no curatorial experience and was not famous enough," Jiang said.


Such obstacles did not stop Jiang's passion and dream. She gathered four other designers - Zhong Zhenying, Hu Zhongwei, Xie Bin, and Zeng Qingbo - who shared her vision and agreed to work on the exhibition.


The four designers contributed some of their own art work for the show and encouraged their friends to join in as well.


"The chance to present your artwork in the heart of the world - New York City - is invaluable," Hu said. "This is an opportunity designers should jump at."
Zeng thought presenting his own artwork in New York was a way to develop.


"The architecture industry is quite different from East to West. For me, to hear the critics from the West is crucial," said Zeng.


While developing the exhibit, the team pitched their idea to many famous designers, including: Tony Chi, founder and president of TonyChi and associates, Tino Kwan, founder and president of Tino Kwan Lighting Consultants, and others.


Their "snowball" strategy worked. Chi agreed to attended the exhibition and act as honorary chairman a month before launch.


"As I was not familiar nor had any previous contact with the organization, their mission and objective captured my attention, which was a commitment to provide a bridge of design and architecture between China and the US," he explained.


"Also, many colleagues with whom I have shared many years in the industry were participating in the event, which further caught my interest and propelled my decision to participate," he added.


Joachim Pissarro, an adjunct curator at the Museum of Modern Art, attended the exhibition's opening on Sept 27 and gave favorable comments. "I am very impressed about the quality and standard of the exhibition," said Pissarro. "This is a good platform. I hope more exhibitions like this happen in the future."


Chi also offered positive feedback. "The exhibition was well-balanced, presenting a nice equilibrium between fine art and commercial art," he said.


Jiang said many Western critics and architects tend to think of Chinese architects as being not the most creative. "That may have been true in the past, but we want to show the world that Chinese architects are making progress," she said.


Xie said this was one reason why the team didn't hire professional Western curators.


"Truth is the first role," he said. "We wanted to present the real Chinese artwork without polish. We wanted to have real interaction between Chinese architecture and Western architecture."


Chi said Chinese architects possess a distinct culture, which can be enhanced through their growing contact with other architects in different cultures.


"This can lead to new inspiration and areas of creativity and broadening of the design potential of China which may not have been explored in the past," he said.


Pissarro said he especially enjoyed the exchange. "There is no good or bad when talking about art," said Pissarro. "An exhibition like this helps people see what has been done to a great level in China."


Zhong said all the hard work paid off when the team got comments from Western architects and designers, regardless of whether they were positive or negative.


"At the very beginning, organizing the exhibition was only something interesting," he said. "Later on, driven by passion, it became our dream."


The team is considering making the exhibition an annual event, an idea that gets Chi's full support.


"The event concept is very intriguing and this was a promising start," Chi said. "This has such potential to grow and become a tradition."



    Editor:Annabelle | Source: Agencies


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